Just Imagine


The Reading Journey: a new chapter

We’ve been busy making some changes to the structure of the reading journey and integrating our new app for schools. The Reading Journey will enthuse your pupils and provide you with valuable information to support your reading for pleasure pedagogy.

The app is being launched in stages and there are lots of features still being developed – so we’re going to be busy over the next few months. 

Reading Journey app launch dates:

  • Lower Key Stage 2 September 2019
  • Upper Key Stage 2 October 2019
  • Key Stage 3 January 2020

Tell me more

The Reading Journey comprises a number of elements, which can be used together or independently as you choose.

The Aims


  • engage readers with exciting, high quality and appealing book choices.
  • develop adventurous reading choices.
  • help schools maintain reading areas and school libraries.
  • keep book corners stocked with up-to-date books at affordable prices (all collections are discounted on RRP).
  • provide support for a reading for pleasure pedagogy.

Curated Book Selections

  • The journey focuses on 20 different locations. 
  • Each location is based on an idea or theme (not strictly genre as this approach is designed to encourage some adventurous choices).
  • Each location has 10 recommended books suitable fo the age range.
  • Every location has at least one challenging choice and at least one accessible choice. The selections have been put together so that every child can participate.
  • Inclusivity is a selection criterion and efforts have been made to reflect realities (with acknowledgement to CLPE) in the selection.
  • Books selected by  a panel of reading experts and class teachers, convened by Just Imagine Director, Nikki Gamble, author of Exploring Children’s Literature and co-author of Guiding Readers: layers of meaning.


The Reading journey is organised by phase: Lower Key Stage 2, Upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3.

Each phase has a recommended 200 great reads. This is a good place to start, if your reading areas need a serious refresh, or if you are starting from scratch. We suggest that a single form entry school, might choose the 200 book pack for use across two year groups. Books can either be housed in the school library or in class reading areas. If the books are in class, we suggest dividing  them into two sets of 100 books, with half the books placed in each year group.

Half packs of 100 books are available to suit smaller schools or where budgets are tighter. You can also purchase books by theme and build collections over time.

Themed Sets

Themed sets are available either as single copies or three copies of each book. Multiple copies generate peer to peer conversation and recommendations. We have seen the impact that this simple difference makes.

Themed packs are at the heart of what makes The Reading Journey so special.

Sonia Thompson, St Matthews School, Nechells, Birmingham

Themes for Lower Key Stage 2

  • Animal Archipelago (facts about animals)
  • Classics Castle (stories that have stood the test of time)
  • Curiosity Caves (exciting nonfiction)
  • Explorer’s Camp (fiction and nonfiction to satisfy adventurous spirits)
  • Funny Forest (fiction, nonfiction and poetry to make you laugh)
  • Gingerbread Cottage (traditional tales and fairy stories)
  • Hall of Fame (biography and autobiography)
  • Heroes Headquarters (heroes and superheroes – fact and fiction)
  • Integalactic Launch Pad (all about space)
  • Lake of Long Ago (step back in time through the pages of a book)
  • Magical Mansion (fantasy stories)
  • Mysterious Maze (mysteries to solve)
  • Pagoda of Peril (adventure stories)
  • Safari Tent (animal stories)
  • Silicon Valley (STEM fiction and nonfiction)
  • Spooky Steppe (for a frisson of fear – but not too much)
  • Sports Stadium (all sorts of sport – not only football)
  • Volcano of Verses (because poetry IS fun)
  • Wordless Watermill (a collection of wordless books)

Author of the Month

In the Reading Journey app we feature an author of the month. The author’s books can be located in the app along with questions asked by primary children and answered by the author. The authors have been interviewed by primary school children.

Reading Rewards

A light touch system of rewards is built into the app.

Rather than using numerical measures such as the number of books read, or the number of words or hours spent reading, we have given consideration to the different types of reading behaviour that you might want to celebrate. We anticipate that all readers, regardless of their levels of attainment, can achieve recognition for these behaviours. The reading behaviours are:

  • Adventurous Reader
  • Curious Reader
  • Resilient Reader
  • Thoughtful Reader
  • Voracious Reader
  • Encouraging Reader

We even have some cool stickers, which can be awarded in the app.

Using The Reading Journey

The Reading Journey has been tested in schools across the UK.

Although we have designed The Reading Journey and accompanying resources with a model in mind, we know that you will find your own ways of using them. They will take on a new life when they enter your classrooms. Thank you for taking this road with us.

Rachel Elvidge and Nikki Gamble

Thank you to Jon Biddle, Darryl Crawley, Sara Stanley, Kiran Satti, Rebecca Thomson, Sonia Thompson and Claire Williams for testing and writing materials – and for invaluable feedback.